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wearit.swatchwearit.astaOne of the emerging topics this summer at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit was ‘the body as prolific data generator to delay and prevent disease’. Last week, I was fortunate to be meeting up with colleagues at Microsoft Research, Studio 99, during the run of the ISWC: The International Symposium on Wearable Computers (Sept. 18-Octover 24, 2014). The conference and accompanying juried design exhibition, which has been a highlight of the ISWC program since its inception in 2008, brought to life many ideas like these that were presented at the 2014 MS Research Faculty Summit.

“The design exhibition serves as a bridge between design practice and engineering research, and is the primary means through which designers participate in the ISWC community. Designers submit design statements of their prototypes summarizing the objectives and development, along with high-quality photographs and/or videos. Submissions are judged by an expert panel, and accepted submissions are exhibited in person at the conference.”  

wearit.ballet wearit.banner– Troy Nachtigall, ISWC 2014 Design Exhibition Chair

This year, the expert jury panel was composed of Seattle’s own Maggie Orth of International Fashion Machines, Asta Roseway of Microsoft Research Studio 99, Zoe Romano of Arduino, and Meg Grant, independent researcher and wearable technology journalist. The jury selected 16 submissions into the exhibit, which was held at the EMP in Seattle this year.

After the conference, the exhibition moved to Microsoft Research Studio 99, which is where I saw it. Asta Rosway, Principal Research Designer, works in emerging technologies pertaining to Human Computer Interaction, Affective Computing, and Wearables. She was nice enough to give Jeff Brice, Chair of Design at Cornish and myself a tour of the groundbreaking work in the ‘Wear IT’ Design Exposition and Wearable Showcase…!!!

Included in the showcase was Maggie Orth’s piece 100 Electric Art Yearsimages-6

“Progammable color-change textiles combine woven electrodes with conductive yarn, thermochromic ink, drive electronics, and expressive software. Textile electrodes are woven with resistive yarns in the weft and highly conductive yarns in the warp. Plain weave connects these yarns together electrically. The weaving is printed with thermochromic ink, which changes color when heated. Drive electronics send current to the resistive yarns, which heat up and cause the ink to change the color. Expressive software controls the patterns and sequences of the color-change events.”  – Maggie Orth

The exhibit at Microsoft Research was deinstalled today, in fact. But, if and when ISWC graces our fair city again, you know ‘wear’ I’ll be!

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Jeff Brice, Design Chair, Cornish College of the Arts and Asta Roseway, Microsoft Research

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